|IACS Student Association held their kickoff event on Thursday, December 3
Photo by Taylor Ha
President Aimilios Sofianopoulos reveals the new club’s goals
“There are many people who do the same research, but we don’t really know each other,” Aimilios Sofianopoulos said. That’s exactly why the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS) Student Association was created.
Headed by Sofianopoulos, a second year PhD student, this new multidisciplinary student club aims to foster connections among Stony Brook University graduate students who are interested in computational science. This mission was partially triggered by the very solitary nature of this scientific field. “Especially in our zones of research, people get to be very isolated from each other,” Sofianopoulos said. “We’re in front of computers all day, working on codes and syncing lines of code.”
At last Thursday night’s first official meeting, the club’s mission was put into play. Over thirty-five new members mingled at The Bench Bar & Grill, a local sports bar, and sparked new friendships over free appetizers and drinks. Many of them, like second-year graduate student Rena Elkin enjoyed the camaraderie but also took advantage of the opportunity to discuss science. “I figured it would be a good way to get to know who else is here, and what they’re working on,” Elkin said.
Besides bringing together graduate students who are interested in computational science, the IACS Student Association plans to take advantage of its promising location: New York. “We have many opportunities that we wouldn’t have in other states,” Sofianopoulos noted. According to the student club president, many big companies, or potential employers, are around New York City and New Jersey. Having graduate students get to know these employers can pave the way for professional connections, scientific collaborations, and industrial feedback.
IACS Student Association President Sofianopoulos is joined by fellow student committee members Treasurer Tristan Delaney, Secretary Joel Anderson, and Vice President Mohammed Mahdi Javanmard. Sofianopoulos largely brainstorms ideas for future events and works on forging connections between the IACS Student Association and similar groups in institutions like Columbia and NYU. Some potential future events include more social gatherings on and off campus, academic/industrial lectures from invited speakers and professional development workshops. “Our next goal is to have an event that describes the whole procedure from zero, from scratch, to a patent – a full patent,” he said. This event would potentially include an SBU lawyer who would explain the entire procedure from a legal standpoint, an SBU professor who is one of the three patent holders for the iPod, and an Apple employee in charge of research and development recruitment.
“We try to combine looking for jobs on the one hand with university academic work on the other hand. This new association is the vehicle for joining hands,” Sofianopoulos concluded.
For more information about the IACS Student Association, or if you would like to join the group, or if you would just like to stay aware of future events and be included on their listserve, send your name, email address and a few words about your level of interest to Secretary Joel Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their Facebook page.